Steven Gerrard praised after derby heroics

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has praised Steven Gerrard after the England midfielder scored a hat-trick in Tuesday night’s 3-0 win over Everton at Anfield.

The Reds skipper has had a frustrating campaign through injury but the Spain international keeper feels that Gerrard is getting back to his best.

“Stevie is always a key player for us,” the Spaniard told the club’s official website.

“He is an inspiration, on and off the pitch. He showed in the game he is fully fit now and he is coming back strong.

“We all love playing against Everton because they are special games. For local lads like Stevie, Spearo or Carra, those games mean a lot – and the rest of us know how important they are for the club.

“Credit to Stevie, he was really good.

“He was at his best once again and fully deserved his hat-trick, although I would like to mention Luis Suarez, especially for the third goal.

“Sometimes when a striker is not scoring they can be a little bit selfish, but he was totally unselfish in creating the goal,” he concluded.

Liverpool take on Stoke in the FA Cup next on Sunday.

By Gareth McKnight